Page 4 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » Pasadena January 8th 2017

There are any number of people who have a vision of southern California being warm all year around. In part, we have Hollywood movie producers to thank for that as they always show women in scantily clad clothing no matter the time of year. California locals laugh at tourists when they show up during the LA winter expecting to wear t-shirts and flip-flops. While an LA winter is no reason to pack the snow boots, you need to be prepared and dress appropriately. Layering is the key. Fortunately, we’ve lived in CA enough years to know this so once we bought our Rose Bowl tickets we made plans to bring a proper coat and gloves back from Florida when we were there for the Christmas Holiday. Driving before the break of dawn toward Pasadena, we focus ... read more
Holiday Lights
Rose Bowl Parade
Vibrant Colors!!!

You feel certain that you have had a great experience when you are sitting at the airport on the way home and you’re still smiling. In this case, smiling and talking with Super Chikan, a bluesman from Clarksdale, Mississippi and at this point, a man who enjoys conversation. He is busy telling you about his 2 year-old grandson with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. This was the third Blues Cruise in 18 months and it is perhaps time to take a break from them for a while. Cruises are not the greatest travel experiences, but the ability to see such world-class musicians in one location over a short period of time was too irresistible to pass up. These cruises are intense, amazing and wonderful but we have more of the ... read more
Tinsley Ellis is amazing
Buddy Guy
Vanessa Collier & Nancy Wright

North America » United States » Mississippi » Clarksdale September 25th 2016

Sounds like the start of a good song At times -- Time and distance makes being together challenging in our consulting line of work. We’ve been apart for 18 days….18 miserable days for us. In over 20+ years, nothing had separated us this long, until now. With MJ starting a new job out on the left coast in California and Dave finishing up a contract in Arkansas, the timing was off….but now that has been corrected. Only one thing to do once we get reunited……head to The Crossroads. The Mississippi Delta the birthplace of the blues music. Our souls needed some nurturing and the blues is the cure. Many a blues fan from around the world dream of the drive through Delta blues country from Memphis to New Orleans via Clarksdale and Vicksburg Mississippi. The tales ... read more
Grain Bin A
The Kingfish

North America » United States » Missouri » Branson June 19th 2016

So, we consider ourselves to be pretty well traveled. Lucky quite actually…. been in all 50 states in our own country and many great foreign lands as well. Our home country is quite a large one and certainly we’ve spent more time in some states than others. The great state of Missouri is well known for St. Louis and Kansas City and rightfully so, but we wanted to wander into a smaller lesser-known town. Most Americans have more than likely heard of Branson, Missouri and mentally made a snap decision, positive or negative, about this town and what interest it would hold for them. Quite frankly, we admit we are among those people who made a snap decision and had our reservations. Having always been curious and wanted to visit but we were worried about the ... read more
Talented Musicians
A big fork
Arkansas highways

Authenticity is often hard to come by. We all seek it as it provides a feeling of both truth and originality. As travelers, this is one of the reasons we travel, to see things that are not necessarily contrived or otherwise. But when you visit the Mississippi Delta region and roll in to Clarksdale, you instantly discover that you’ve entered a place where something is real and true…..The Blues. Now the quote above is attributed to McKinley may know him as Muddy Waters. Ask any rock 'n roll artist from the 1960's and they'll tell you the same......the blues begat rock 'n roll. As a matter of lore, Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil at what is widely known as “The Crossroads.” This is where highway 49 and highway 61 intersect. Great ... read more
Sell your soul to the devil
Iconic Crossroads
"Juke Joint"

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 31st 2016

We’re near the end of our travels, but not ready to go….just yet. The past two months have been an incredible journey, taking us to places we thought we would never see and around every bend there was more to experience, from the White Desert in Egypt to the incredible views of Wadi Rum, to the snowy mountains during the train ride on the Glacier Express. We just had a great time in Paris and now it was time to board a train for the final journey in Europe…to London via the Chunnel. In past blogs, we’ve stated how much we like train travel and this afforded us yet one more time to take in the countryside of two countries, France and England. We’re terribly impressed with the Chunnel, and there we were, onboard the Eurostar ... read more
Dave & MJ
St. Martin in the Fields
Street Musician

Europe » France » Île-de-France March 27th 2016

It’s eight pm on March 26th and we’re sitting in a restaurant called Pramil, sipping wine, chatting with our friend Michael and thankful that we are celebrating our 22ndwedding anniversary in Paris, enjoying great friendship and food. Evenings like these are precious and this is one we won’t forget soon. Michael joined us for a time in Myanmar back in 2012 as we bounced around that beautiful nation, both on the highway and even during couple of earthquakes in Mandalay. We find ourselves reflective at times like these, as earlier that day we had met another TravelBlogger, John We are often fascinated at the journeys that people take in life, whether it be actual traveling, or even a more personal journey. Any time we can meet a fellow traveler, we are always enthralled by their journeys ... read more
Paris Pastry
Eiffel Tower
The Chef Suggest

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken March 24th 2016

After witnessing the breath-taking Matterhorn near Zermatt, we wondered if the next leg of our trip would be as exciting as the past few days had been. In this smallish nation, which ranks as only the 132ndlargest in the world, how much more can there be to see? We had already witnessed so many beautiful sights…..could there be more? Absolutely! The next stop on our journey would take us to Interlaken. Once again, we were able to take a train, which is rapidly becoming our favorite way to travel. This time, we would need to take three trains to get to our next destination and we almost didn’t get off at the right station, save for Merry Jo literally saying, “I think this is our stop.” Smart girl, as it turned out to be the right ... read more
Mountains above Lauterbrunnen
Still winter up in the mountains.....
Dave in front of the Guggisberg church

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt March 19th 2016

We both agree that train travel is incredibly romantic. We’ve probably watched too many movies….but we’re Americans. We live in a country where railroads are something that blocks traffic at exactly the wrong time while you sit and watch tanker cars, spray painted by exuberant artists roll by while you just sit….but we know that in other countries, it is a way people actually travel…and we find this wonderful. As the train pulls out of the station we are grateful to be on such a wonderful trip. We’d heard about a famous train called “The Glacier Express” that went through the Swiss Alps and we wanted to go. This train offers grand windows and so the world seems only a touch away. This is one of those rare occasions you have a moment where you find ... read more
The Matterhorn Express
A stunning view
The snow is melting

Europe » Liechtenstein » Triesen March 16th 2016

So, this happens all the time….you’re sitting there having a very nice conversation when somebody interjects “I will be vacationing in Liechtenstein this year!” Okay…..that was a boldface lie. In all reality, unless you’re a fairly well-schooled geography student from Europe or really like to ski, you may not have spent much time thinking about the sixth smallest and one of two doubly land-locked nations in the world. When it comes to being small, this principality is roughly 25 km (15 miles) north to south and barely 15 km (9 miles) wide. Suree, it’s bigger than Vatican City and Monaco, but you could easily drive right past it without blinking. They don’t have their own money (they use the Swiss franc) and haven’t had an army for, well forever. They finally granted women the right to ... read more
Vaduz Castle
Wild Garlic Soup
Beautiful local farms

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